Microsoft's crime-fighting tech for sale
Microsoft and NYPD launch a smart surveillance system, a texting competition gives touch screens the cold thumb, and McKayla is not impressed with this show.
McKayla is not impressed with Thursday's big tech stories:
Microsoft helped develop a surveillance system for New York that pulls in information from video camera footage, 9-1-1 calls, radiation detectors and license plate readers, and analyzes the data in real-time to better fight crime and terrorism. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the program, known as the Domain Awareness System, and it will be available to law enforcement agencies around the world (New York earns 30 percent of sales revenue). It doesn't use face-recognition software, but even still, some critics are worried officers could abuse this technology and track citizens without obtaining a warrant. Bloomberg says this system just uses the existing cameras and sensors to help officers identify a trend and respond more quickly.
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt may have the fastest legs in the world, but the fastest thumbs belong to 17-year-old Austin Wierschke from Wisconsin, the two-time winner of the LG National Texting Championship. To win the $50,000 prize, you must copy phrases quickly, decode text shorthand speak and even text blindfolded. They were all using an LG Optimus Zip with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. What, no love for touchscreen texting?
Steam will be adding software to it's online downloads in September. The Steam service currently sells downloadable computer games for Windows and Mac. It was created by video game maker Valve, known for Half-Life and Portal.
Pinterest has opened the registration gates to everyone. Might seem silly to hear this considering millions already use this online pin board, so it wasn't hard to get an account. But for those late to the trend, this means you won't have to wait a day or so for approval or get an invite code to sign-up. (You can find my feeble attempts at pinning here.)
Every app on Facebook can now sell you a subscription. You've seen payment subscriptions in games, but soon there may be more ways for businesses to take your money through Facebook.
If you've used the Pulse app to keep up with news, now you can use the reader from the Web. Pulse's new HTML5 website has the appearance of an app, and it also syncs with your existing account.
But if that doesn't impress you, then hopefully this week's viral Tumblr Photoshop meme will. "McKayla is not impressed" pokes fun at the dissatisfied look given by U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney when she took silver in the vault competition. She says at the moment she was upset at herself for not performing her best. As for the meme, she tweeted that she thinks it's "kinda funny" (but that tweet was later removed.)